Examples are presented of what most geologists call “buried structures.” Improvements in reflection seismograph techniques and data processing have produced deeper penetration and better resolution of data which have led to the location of many “buried structures” in the Gulf of Mexico and other marine areas.

Some of these structures are buried diapirs—some are related to growth fault development. In either situation, local movement ceased and the structures were overridden by sediments prograding over a subsiding basin.

Recognition of these undrilled structures has sparked intense bidding competition in recent offshore lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic offshore. Buried structures will be important targets in offshore exploration for years to come and will contribute substantially to the nation’s reserves of oil and gas.

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